UAE’s ambitious space plans map new frontiers - GulfToday

UAE’s ambitious space plans map new frontiers


Sheikh Mohammed is being briefed about new strategy of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai on Saturday. File

It is truly heartwarming to note that the UAE is planning an Arab mission to the moon by 2024. The ambitious project is being spearheaded by none other than His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. On Saturday he was briefed on the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre 2021-2031 launched by the centre to shape its work in the coming decade.

The aim is to establish a new phase of Emirati potential in the space exploration and technology fields and other related industries.

On his Twitter account, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid said, “The UAE’s ambition in the space sector explores, plans and makes the future. Our youth, engineers and pioneers open new horizons in the science, technology and innovation fields in this vital sector for the future of our world.”

The future strategies and programmes developed by the UAE in the space sector enhance its position in the club of pioneering countries in space exploration and development of international cooperation in this sector, as they support the knowledge-based economy and innovation and qualify a capable generation of national cadres who acquired knowledge and experience, and inspire generations of Arab youth in the region and increase their ambition, challenge and excellence in all fields.

The projects are truly encouraging and put the UAE in another landmark realm. They include the Environmental Monitoring Nanometric Satellites; food security research in space, the Emirates Space Simulation Programme and the Mars Science City project. Truly, the sky is not the limit for Emirati endeavour.

The strategy maps a new phase of cooperation between the national space sector and international institutions and provides qualitative factors that enhance the country’s potential to compete in the international space sector.

The aim is also to lure new investments to the national space sector, which has attracted Dhs22 billion over the past few years.

The strategy also covers the UAE project to explore the moon and send the first Arab mission with national competencies by 2024, in addition to the ambitious Mars 2117 strategy that employs the latest human knowledge to explore outer space.

The scheduled launch of the “MeznSat” satellite on Monday, from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia on a Soyuz-2 rocket, is another laurel which makes the country proud. It is the first educational cubic satellite manufactured in cooperation between Khalifa University and the American University in Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK), under the supervision of the UAE Space Agency.

The “MeznSat” Nano-satellite is designed to detect greenhouse gas concentrations from an orbit of 565 kilometres above the earth.

With this launch, “MeznSat” will join the 10 satellites launched by the UAE to develop the national capabilities, enhance scientific research activities, and regulate the activities of the national space sector.

The project will support Emirati young people in developing the skills necessary for the UAE’s ambitious National Space Programme and its future projects. The stars, the constellations, asteroids that dot the firmament above… present a brave new world in which only the adventurous of heart, those who can push boundaries can venture out to explore. Like Hazzaa Al Mansoori, the first Emirati astronaut who conducted experiments in a laboratory that is the ISS with an average altitude of 400 km, circling the earth in a little over 90 minutes.

The space exploration programme shows that a country less than 50 years young has made unbelievable strides.

As Emirati Shamma Al Shehhi says, “In only 48 years we have achieved the unthinkable. We have risen from the ground to the clouds, and reaching for the stars now.”

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